Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing, its characters or its storyline. But I do enjoy writing about them!

Pairings: 1+2, 2+1, 1x2
Rating: PG (for the moment)
Warnings: A dash of angst, and a dollop drama

Author's Note: Well, I guess I should start this one off by saying, I owe it all to Satan and her handmaiden - Pia. They know who they are and it's all their fault! I've been exposed to the wonders of GW yaoi, and now am excitedly writing my first GW fic as well as my first yaoi! This piece is dedicated to Himiko - for all the gropes! And with a special thanks to my very non-yaoi friend, Chri, for a bit of assistance in keeping it simple.

Protection from You
Prologue: In the Night
By Merith

A muffled groan, instantly stifled, sounded in the dark quiet room. Moments later, the quick shuffling of hurried feet on the carpet could be heard. A door opened and closed before silence reigned.

A pair of violet eyes opened staring at the ceiling while ears strained, listening for the slightest noise. Nothing reassuring made itself known. Declaring the wait over, his body moved;bedcovers flew and bare feet slid to the floor. Padding quietly down the hall, the slim youth paused outside a door. His head cocked with an ear flush to the wood, he listened.

A groan sounded, suddenly cut off by gagging noises. The boy's eyes widen and he whispered loudly, "Heero? Heero, you okay?"

Loud, labored breathing could be heard along with a soft thump. "Go back to bed, Duo."

Stepping back, the boy glared at the door. "Don't give me that shit. Just tell me if you're okay."

Heero's muted reply was lost in the harsh sounds of his retching as it continued. Duo palmed the knob and twisted. Finding it locked, he slammed a fist against the particleboard. "Damn-it, Heero! Why'dja lock the door?" Taking a deep breath, he shoved his shoulder on the door, pushing against the knob with his other hand, straining to force it open. It shimmied, but held.

In the brief quiet following his attack on the door, Duo heard another groan - one that wasn't stifled. A finger of dread licked at his spine and he renewed his attempt, forgetting in his panic he could easily pick the lock. Several house-shaking kicks later, the wood exploded inward leaving the door hanging by a hinge and its knob still glued to the frame, locked.

Rushing by the door's shattered remains he paid little heed to the splinters digging into his feet and the blood dripping from his hands. It took him a moment to recognize his friend. As the scene before him solidified, life suddenly plunged him into a vat of thick molasses, and he couldn't move fast enough.

Heero, his Heero, sprawled on the tiled bathroom floor before the commode. Blood flecked his lips and trailed to his chest, staining his tank a murky green. The white of the toilet and tile smeared red; blood seemed to coat every surface. The strong invincible Perfect Soldier lay ignobly with clumps of vomitus clinging to his hair and a wad of bathroom tissue clenched in his fist.

"Quatre! Wu Fei!" Duo shrieked his voice sounding shrill and loud in the small room. "Somebody! Anybody!"

Kneeling swiftly, Duo raised the near comatose body in his arms. Oh God. No. No! This can't be happening again! Shakily, he brushed away some of the sticky goo and wiped at the blood. "Heero," he pleaded, fighting to keep his voice from trembling. "Hang in there. Help's coming."

Dark eyes opened and stared into his; a grimace of pain flashed through the face's expression before it was quickly squashed. A look, straining with seeming importance implored him to bend closer.

Heero's hand daubed in blood pulled weakly on his braid. "Duo," his voice sounded as he'd never heard it before; scratchy and frail. "Shut up."

A ghost of a smile flickered before his lids fluttered closed.

on to chapter one

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